The Dallas Morning News

My Town: Marisa Belz shares her hangouts in Oak Cliff

12:00 AM CDT on Monday, April 19, 2010

By JAMIE KNODEL / The Dallas Morning News

Marisa Belz sticks with what she knows. When the East Dallas mother and hairstylist decided to go back to work full time and open her own salon, she did so with family. She picked a location – Oak Cliff – where she had had success before, albeit in the restaurant business. Belz finished out the renovated location, 1003 W. Jefferson Blvd., with help from proven North Texas talent and friends – award-winning designer Abi Ferrin created the customer smocks, Brad Oldham crafted a custom chandelier, and longtime Dallas model Patty Rooney's paintings were the first to hang on the walls. Along with brother Frank Solis and sister-in-law Amy Solis, her Solstice Salon co-owners, Belz plans to showcase a rotating cast of artwork from Dallas artists.

When it was time to go back to work and to open a hair salon, Marisa Belz went for the love she gets in her old 'hood. We asked Belz what else around North Texas she considers proven winners.

Any favorite local places to find style inspiration?

Hattie's restaurant holds down a prime corner in the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff.

The Bolsa vibe always inspires organic space in and out. It's a market, cafe and wine bar, and its fashion-conscious customers make you want to go people-watch. (Bolsa is at 614 W. Davis in Oak Cliff.)

You feature work from local artists in your salon. Who are some of your favorites from North Texas?

Bolsa emphasizes local foods, such as tomatoes and cheese.

This area is rich with talent. Some of my favorites are painters Patty Rooney, Sonya Shinn Edwards and Marian de Lefeld, and product designer Brad Oldham.

What makes Oak Cliff special?

In 1995 we opened up a family-run and -operated restaurant named Casa Francisco. As soon as our doors opened, we discovered how supportive and diverse Oak Cliff was. It's still a great support system till this day.

When you get together with your girlfriends for a girls' night out, what spots are you sure to hit?

Our favorite local hot spots include Bolsa; Hattie's, 418 N. Bishop Ave.; La Calle Doce, 415 W. 12th St. and 1925 Skillman; and BarBelmont, 901 Fort Worth Ave.

Can you tip us off to good places to find unique, offbeat gifts?

You can find something for anyone at Bishop Street Market, 419 N. Bishop Ave. They've got a great collection of cards, home goods, knickknacks and more. From the Ends of the Earth, 839 W. Davis, has cool imported goods. For a special kid's gift, I like to give gift certificates from the Soda Gallery, 408 N. Bishop Ave.

Everyone is looking for a bargain in this economy. Where do you find a good deal?

There are all kinds of deals to be had at El Mariachi Supermarket, 912 W. 12th St. Another bargain favorite: half-price wine at Bolsa on Tuesdays.

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